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Vae victis 


Vae victis (IPA: [ˈwai ˈwiktiːs]) is Latin for “woe to the vanquished (ones)” or also “woe to the conquered (ones)“. (This is the dative plural form—the dative singular is Vae victo if the conquered is masculine, Vae victae if the conquered is feminine.)

In 390 BC, an army of Gauls led by Brennus attacked Rome, capturing all of the city except for the Capitoline Hill, which was successfully held against them. Brennus besieged the hill, and finally the Romans asked to ransom their city. Brennus demanded 1,000 pounds (327 kg) of gold, and the Romans agreed to his terms.

Livy, in Ab Urbe Condita (Book 5 Sections 34–49), records that the Gauls provided steelyard balances and weights, and the Romans brought out their gold. But the Romans noticed that the weights were fixed, and the tribunes dared to complain to Brennus about the issue. Brennus took his sword, threw it on to the weights, and exclaimed: “Vae victis!”, for the conquered have no rights, forcing the Romans to bring even more gold to fulfill their obligation.

Modern use

“Vae victis” is the motto of the 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment (United States Army), B company, and was on a patch worn during deployment in Iraq ’07-’08.

In popular culture, it is the battle cry of Kain, the anti-hero of the Legacy of Kain videogame series. The expression featured prominently in the 2009 movie Open Graves as a synonym for “game over” in a deadly board game, where a character quips that it is Latin for “losers weepers”.

Jean-Yves Mitton


(John Milton, Jym)

(b. 11/3/1945, France)

Vae Victis, by Jean-Yves Mitton
Vae Victis

Jean-Yves was born in Toulouse and studied Fine Arts in Lyon. After completing his studies, he found employment in the retouching studio of Lug publishers. Here, he discovered American and Italian comics. His first series, ‘Sammy Sam’, was published from 1965 in magazine Pim, Pam, Poum, Pipo. For this series, he took on the penname Jym. Next, he took over the series ‘Pugacioff’ from the Italian artist Giorgio Rebuffi in Maxi Pipo, which was later illustrated by Amouriq and Yves Chantereau. He also created the little indian ‘Plume’.

L'Archer Blanc by Jean-Yves Mitton
L’Archer Blanc

With scenario writer Navarro, he made series like ‘Oum le Dauphin’, based on the television series, and ‘Blek le Roc’ (‘Il Grande Blek’). For this last series, he changed from a humorous to a realistic style. He was additionally a productive cover artist for the Lug publications. Under the pseudonym John Milton, he worked for Nova, where he made several comics with superheroes like ‘The Silver Surfer’, ‘The Fantastic Four’ and ‘Spider-man’.

Mikros by Jean-Yves MittonMikros by Jean-Yves Mitton

In 1980, he started the saga ‘Mikros’ in Mustang and Titans, and made a comic adaptation of the television series ‘Blackstar’. Continuing his work on superheroes, he illustrated stories with ‘Cosmo’ and ‘Photonik’, and created ‘Epsilon’ and ‘Kronos’.

The Phantom by JY Mitton
The Phantom – Hoogan’s Revenge

Starting in 1987, he associated himself with François François Corteggiani, with whom he made ‘l’Archer Blanc’ and ‘Noël et Marie’. In 1988 he began to draw stories with ‘The Phantom’ for the Swedish Fantomen comic book. He also drew the back-up comic ‘Herman Storm’, written by Eirik Ildahl.

Chroniques Barbares, by Jean-Yves Mitton
Chroniques Barbares

From 1989 to 2004, Mitton took over ‘De Silence et de Sang’ from Marc Malès at publisher Glénat (scripts by Cortegianni). Next, he began a series about the Gaulish-Roman time: ‘Vae Victis’ with Simon Rocca (Soleil, 1991-2006) and a comic about pirates, ‘Les survivants de l’Atlantique’ (Soleil, 1992-2003). Between 1994 and 2000, he produced his series ‘Chroniques Barbares’, a saga about a tribe of vikings, for Soleil Productions. Additionally, he has made ‘Quetzalcoatl’ for Glénat since 1997.

Quetzlqoatl, by Jean-Yves Mitton

As a scriptwriter, he has worked with Frank Bonnet (‘Attila… mon amour’, published by Glénat since 1998), Michel Rodrigue (‘Les Truculentes Aventures de Rabelais’, published by Hors Collection in 2001-02), Georges Ramaïoli (‘Colorado’, published by Carpe Diem since 2003) and Félix Molinari (‘Les survivants de l’Atlantique’ from book 4, and ‘Le Dernier Kamikaze’, published by Soleil since 2006). For the advertising agency Jet Stream, Mitton scripted ‘Papoose’ for artist Franck Chantelouve in 2002. Between 2008 and 2010 he made four books in the historical series ‘Ben Hur’ for Delcourt.

Ben Hur by Jean-Yves Mitton
Ben Hur #4

Georges Ramaïoli

(Simon Rocca)

(b. 26/6/1945, France)

Zoulouland, by Georges Ramaïoli

In 1974, Georges Ramaïoli worked for various fanzines and did the artwork for a short story by Jean Giraud, published in Charlie Mensuel. He teamed up with writer René Durand a year later, and created the series ‘La Terre de la Bombe’ in Le Canard Sauvage and later Circus. The series ran until 1977, the year that Ramaïoli and Durand came up with their second series, ‘L’Indien Français’.

Les Scynthes, by Georges Ramaïoli

In 1980, Ramaïoli created the science-fiction series ‘Mado et Maildur’ in Méfi and later Ère Comprimée. A collection of his short stories, ‘Ouest Terne’, was published by Glénat in 1984. He drew ‘Le Dauphin Blanc’ in Okapi and ‘La Conquête du Mexique’ with Carbonnel at Larousse publishers. Again with René Durand, he made ‘Comme un Vol d’Hirondelles’ in 1987, the first part of the ‘Zoulouland’ cycle. Ramaïoli took over the writing of the scripts from the fourth album. In 1989, he did the artwork for François Corteggiani‘s historical saga ‘L’Horus de Néken’ published by Milan. With Philippe Aubert, he made ‘Ardoukouba’ at Éditions Blanco, a series later renamed ‘L’Or de Saba’ at Soleil Productions.

L'Horus de Néken, by Georges Ramaïoli

Using the pseudonym Simon Rocca, he worked on ‘Corpus Christi’ (with Mathieu) and ‘Vae Victis’ (with Jean-Yves Mitton) at Soleil Productions. Also for Soleil, he made ‘Les Scythes’ (1993) and ‘La Saga de Bas-de-Cuir’ (1995). As a scriptwriter he has worked with artists like Angel Bautista (‘Les Maudits’, 1993), André Houot (‘Le Khan’, 1994), Février (‘Le Fléau de Dieu’, 1995), Christophe Bec (‘Princesse Rouge’, 1995), Thierry Girod (‘Wanted’, 1995), Michel Suro (‘Barca’, 1996), Serge Fino (‘Starblood’, 1999) and Jean-Claude Cassini (‘Bouffe-Doublon’, 1999), all published by Soleil.

While continuing to work on ‘Zouloulande’, Ramaïoli began ‘Colorado’ with Mitton at Éditions Carpe Diem in 2003. In the following year, he was present at the publishing house Joker with ‘La Légende d’Oregon-Jo’. Ramaïoli has proved himself an artist who easily mastered the science-fiction and historical genre, as well as western and adventure.

cover for Circus, by Georges Ramaïolicover for Circus, by Georges Ramaïoli